Local & Regional

Water Rescue At Oologah

Jul 5, 2018
US Army Corps of Engineers

A water rescue is made at Lake Oologah. Two people were riding inter tubes, pulled by a boat, when the towrope snapped. As the boat was turning around to pick-up the people it ran out of gas. The people on the inter tubes floated away.

Fire fighters were called to rescue the pair and to pull the boat to a marina.

OKC Zoo

 

Francesca, a female pygmy hippo that "I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas" singer Gayla Peevey welcomed to Oklahoma City's zoo in December, has died at age 26.

The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden announced Francesca's death Wednesday and said caretakers examined the hippo last week after she showed signs of illness. Veterinarians diagnosed her with dental and severe gastrointestinal disease and progressive kidney failure.

Tulsa Police

 

A Tulsa police sergeant will be the face of a new cable TV show aimed at looking at law enforcement work from officers' perspective.

A&E says Sgt. Sean Larkin is host of "PD Cam." The 30-minute show will offer unfiltered video from police body-worn, dashboard and helicopter cameras.

Larkin has worked for Tulsa police more than 20 years and says law enforcement has gotten negative media coverage in recent years. He says the show will help police work become more transparent.

"PD Cam" debuts July 19.

Google Street View

MIAMI, Okla. (AP) — Workers in the northeast Oklahoma city of Miami are repairing a faulty drainage line that caused compost liquid to spill into a creek and kill thousands of fish.

State inspectors responded June 22 to J-M Farms, which is a mushroom farm where they found that the spill had turned Tar Creek dark for about two miles.

The spill was a setback for a creek recovering from decades of contamination from zinc and lead mining operations unrelated to J-M.

Oklahoma Watch

July marks the beginning of several Oklahoma tax hikes to raise more than $400 million for teacher salaries and other budget priorities.

Drivers have begun paying an extra 3 cents per gallon on gas and 6 cents on diesel fuel as of Sunday. The motor fuel taxes are expected to bring in $105 million during the budget year that began this month. The money will go into the state's general revenue fund, which allowed lawmakers to make appropriations based on collections expects over the next year.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

A traffic stop at a midtown Tulsa QuikTrip on Tuesday afternoon led to an officer-involved shooting that sent two to the hospital.

According to police, two officers pulled over a gold Dodge minivan for having a tag that didn’t match a little before 2 p.m. Once the driver stopped at QuikTrip at 4950 S Harvard Ave., police said he wouldn’t follow the officers’ orders.

When backup arrived and officers used less-lethal force to get the man out of the minivan, TPD Officer MacKenzie said he opened fire, and the officers shot back.

Office of the State Treasurer

The Oklahoma Treasury had its best June on record, with $1.1 billion in gross receipts.

That wasn’t the only record set last month.

"During fiscal year 2018, the fiscal year that ended on June 30, gross receipts to the treasury were at an all-time high for any 12-month period in the state of Oklahoma. Gross receipts totaled almost $12.2 billion," said Deputy Treasurer for Communications Tim Allen.

Bacteria Closed Swim Beach in Green Country

Jul 3, 2018
City of Eufaula

You can enjoy the beach,  but just stay out of the water.

That is what officials at Eufaula are saying about the South Beach on Lake Eufaula. Routine water tests have turned up bacteria in the water at the popular beach.  Officials have not named the bacteria, but ordered the area closed to swimming.

Merchants nearby are disappointed as the Fourth of July is a big day for beach goers.  While the South Beach is closed,  the North Beach is still open.

In the local news:

  • Medical Marijuana backers want a Special Session to set rules.
  • Amy Shelton will leave the Tulsa School Board.
  • New parking apps go live in Tulsa.

TPS

 

In her remarks at the district’s July 2 board meeting, Board member Amy Shelton shared her intention to step down from her seat and expressed her gratitude to the constituents of her district. 

In early August, Tulsa Public Schools will invite interested residents of School Board District Two to submit an application for appointment to the board seat that is expected to be vacated by Shelton on Tuesday, Aug. 7. 

Route 66 News

 

A national nonprofit says it will push for Historic Route 66 to be designated as a National Historic Trail.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation announcement says it's embarking on a month-long road trip that will cover the full length of the historic highway as part of its campaign for the designation.

The trip was to begin Monday in Chicago and finish August 3 in Los Angeles, with stops planned in Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona and other states along the route.

File photo

 

The new president of the University of Oklahoma has announced on his first day at the helm of the institution that he is laying off about one-third of the executives who report directly to him.

OU President Jim Gallogly said Monday in a news release the reorganization will keep tuition rates stable and help work toward faculty pay raises.

State of Oklahoma

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A judge has ordered the release of a man who destroyed Arkansas' Ten Commandments following his acquittal on mental health grounds.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Vann Smith approved the conditional release Friday of Michael Tate Reed from the state hospital to live with his mother in Alma, Arkansas. Smith said that Reed must receive treatment from the Valley Behavioral Health System, and is prohibited from driving a vehicle.

OU Twitter

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — The new president of the University of Oklahoma has announced on his first day at the helm of the institution that he is laying off about one-third of the executives who report directly to him.

OU President Jim Gallogly said Monday in a news release the reorganization will keep tuition rates stable and help work toward faculty pay raises.

Organizers of an effort to roll back tax increases approved by the Legislature to help fund a teacher pay raise say they're abandoning their effort.

Oklahoma Taxpayers Unite organizer Ronda Vuillemont-Smith said Monday the state Supreme Court's recent decision to toss out their ballot initiative didn't leave the group enough time to gather the 42,000 signatures they needed to place the question on the November ballot.

The anti-tax group led by ex-U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn was seeking a public vote to repeal tax hikes on cigarettes, fuel and energy production.

wikimedia

Groups that backed medical marijuana legalization in Oklahoma want a special session to properly regulate it.

Gov. Mary Fallin said last week emergency rules from the Oklahoma State Department of Health will be enough. 

New Health Solutions Oklahoma Executive Director Bud Scott said lawmakers are using that as cover until elections are over.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

No change? No problem.

The ParkMobile app is now live, letting drivers pay for on-street parking in downtown Tulsa from their smartphones. While scrounging for nickels, dimes and quarters is no longer necessary, the app isn’t making cash obsolete.

"It just adds an additional method to pay. We will continue with pay stations and the parking meters until we can get the old meters replaced," said City of Tulsa Public Safety Security Manager Mark Weston.

 

Authorities say a 32-year-old Oklahoma woman is in custody and will be charged in the death of her father following a confrontation at a home west of Tulsa.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said in a statement that Jennifer Starkey is the suspect in the death of her father, 54-year-old James Starkey.

Mannford police and Pawnee County sheriff's deputies responded to the home Sunday after a woman there called 911. It wasn't clear if Jennifer Starkey was the caller.

Authorities say the elder Starkey was found dead inside.

KWGS News/You-Tube

The June Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions Index, a leading economic indicator for the nine-state region stretching from Arkansas to North Dakota, fell to a healthy level continuing to point to strong growth for the next three to six months. The data is compiled by Dr. Ernie Goss.

Overall index: The Business Conditions Index, which ranges between 0 and 100, declined to 61.8 from May’s 67.3. This is the 19th straight month the index has remained above growth neutral 50.0.       

In the local news:

  • What run-offs signal to incumbents.
  • Four people shot in a Tulsa robbery.
  • National Guard bus crash leaves one driver dead and nine guardsmen hurting.

Tulsa Police

Four people are shot Sunday evening in Tulsa. It apparently started when three people in a car tried to rob a man at an apartment complex not far from 61st and Mingo. That man was shot in the stomach.

The victim however was also armed. He pulled his gun and he started firing as the car sped away.

At 72nd and Garnett, police found the car and inside were three people, all had been shot. 

 

An international credit rating service says an Oklahoma Supreme Court decision that voided an initiative petition to overturn tax hikes to fund public education is "credit positive" for the state's school districts.

The high court's June 22 decision says the proposed referendum was legally insufficient and its proposed ballot title was misleading. It ordered that the initiative petition not appear on the general election ballot in November.

File Photo

 

State and federal agencies have formed a new task force that's focused on crimes related to the opioid epidemic in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma City television station KWTV reports the newly-formed Western Oklahoma Opioid Enforcement Team will focus its efforts not just on drug dealers but also on over-prescribing doctors and pharmacists.

File photo

 

The U.S. Geological Survey says a 3.1 magnitude earthquake has been recorded in central Oklahoma.

There were no immediate reports of damage.

The agency says the earthquake was recorded at 9:58 p.m. on Saturday, about 8 miles  east of Guthrie. The temblor was recorded at a depth of nearly 5.5 miles .

Heat and Humidty for Green Country

Jul 1, 2018

Thunderstorm coverage will continue to increase across parts of northeast Oklahoma through mid to late morning as early morning thunderstorms in Kansas continue to spread southeastward. These storms are not expected to be severe and should diminish by midday. Additional isolated to scattered thunderstorm development is expected across areas to the south and east of Interstate 44 during the early to mid afternoon hours, near an outflow boundary from the morning thunderstorms. The strongest thunderstorms may produce hail to the size of quarters and damaging winds up to 65 mph.

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They wore white. They shook their fists in the air. They carried signs reading: "No more children in cages," and "What's next? Concentration Camps?"

In major cities and tiny towns, hundreds of thousands of marchers gathered Saturday across America, moved by accounts of children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, in the latest act of mass resistance against President Donald Trump's immigration policies.

Mapping the Medical Marijuana Vote, by County

Jul 1, 2018
Map by Ben Vankat

Despite well-financed opposition, the state question legalizing medical marijuana passed by a significant margin Tuesday, with 56.8 percent of voters in favor.

The interactive map below shows that in many counties in rural areas, particularly in the far northwest and southeast corners of the state, a majority of voters opposed State Question 788. But counties with much larger populations, including Oklahoma, Tulsa, Cleveland and Comanche counties, went heavily in favor.

Oklahoma National Guard

One motorist is dead and nine Oklahoma National Guardsmen have been hurt in a head-on collision southeast of Oklahoma City.

Tecumseh police Chief J.R. Kidney told KOCO-TV that the collision Saturday involved a pickup truck and passenger bus carrying the Guardsmen from the 1245th.

He says the driver of the pickup was killed and that the nine Guardsmen were hospitalized, one with severe injuries.

The Oklahoma Army National Guard said in a statement that all are in stable condition.

It wasn't immediately clear what led to the collision shortly after 5 a.m.

Glenpool Woman Died in Creek Pike Crash

Jul 1, 2018
KWGS News File Photo

A 95-year-old Glenpool woman is dead after crashing her car Saturday afternoon on the Creek Turnpike. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says the crash happened near Harvard about 3:15 Saturday.

The Patrol says for some reason, Ester Morrison lost control of her 2003 Ford Taurus. The car ran off the roadway and crashed into a tree. It then slammed in to a concrete retaining wall.

She was trapped in the wreckage for about 15 minutes. She was removed with the help of the Tulsa Fire Department. She was rushed to the hospital, but died upon arrival.

...And The Heat Goes On...

Jun 30, 2018

Dangerous heat index values of 105 to 110 degrees will be possible this afternoon across northeast Oklahoma. A plume of subtropical moisture and an upper level disturbance will approach the area late in the day bringing thunderstorms back into the forecast for portions of northeast Oklahoma. Locally damaging wind gusts will be the primary concern. A limited risk for severe weather will continue into Sunday as thunderstorms form along a weak cool front that moves into the area.

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